Carl Schweninger "The Artist's Studio" Oil, ca. 1850

Value (2017) | $30,000 Auction$50,000 Insurance
Watch  

GUEST:
I've grown up with this painting. Originally, it came from my grandfather. He was a restauranteur in Chicago, and he also enjoyed fine art, and decided to open an art gallery. I know that this painting was purchased at auction in 1972 and put into the gallery. He then passed away a few years later and the gallery closed. And it was passed along to my grandmother. She unfortunately passed away earlier in 2016, and at that point, it was passed along to my sister and I. And we love it, we've always thought it was kind of a fun painting. And the subject matter, as little kids, we'd kind of giggle and show our friends.

APPRAISER:
The painting you brought in today is what I kind of call a "wow picture." It's an oil painting on canvas. It's Austrian.

GUEST:
Oh!

APPRAISER:
And it dates to the mid part of the 19th century. The artist is Carl Schweninger. The Schweningers were a family of artists. There's at least a junior and a senior, known as Carl I and Carl II. And we think this is Carl I.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And he lived during the 19th century, born in the early part of the century, died at the end. And he was known as both a landscape painter and a painter of interiors and genre pictures. He obviously had quite a lot of popularity. His studio must have been in real demand, because in researching this painting, I discovered multiple versions of this painting.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
Which had sold at auction in New York and in Austria.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
And they are very similar, but they're all quite different. The artist's position was different, the draperies were different, the items were different, and he probably had commissions to paint multiples of them for wealthy... the bourgeois population of the Vienna area and around. What do you think it's worth?

GUEST:
Maybe around $5,000? We were actually told not to bother bringing it today. Other family members said that it's not going to be worth anything, really, so don't bother, but I've always just loved it.

APPRAISER:
Well, don't you listen to those people. (laughing) The one that sold in New York most recently, which was quite comparable to this, sold for $50,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness. Whoa.

APPRAISER:
And my colleagues, who I chatted with about this, and I agree, that we think an appropriate auction estimate on this picture today would probably be between $30,000 and $40,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
The market for this kind of very classical mid-century European painting...

GUEST:
Yeah...

APPRAISER:
...is softer than it was, so I don't want to encourage you with the $50,000 figure.

GUEST:
Still... (laughs)

APPRAISER:
But I think $30,000 to $40,000 would be a very comfortable figure to be in.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness. That's fantastic.

APPRAISER:
So aren't you glad you brought it?

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh, yes! (laughter)

APPRAISER:
Me, too.

GUEST:
Take it home and enjoy it. But insure it. Yes, oh, yes.

APPRAISER:
Maybe $50,000.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Kathleen Harwood Fine Art
South Hadley, MA
Appraised value (2017)
$30,000 Auction$50,000 Insurance
Event
Harrisburg, PA (June 03, 2017)
Material
Canvas , Oil

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.